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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master Returns (After an absence of a few yrs)
I looked forward to this book the way I do every September since I discovered Magician. Although I was slightly disappointed with the last Trilogy produced (Conclave series), I now realise that it was a clever way to introduce new characters into the series without disturbing the final plot, which continues with the start of the Darkwar Saga.
From a somewhat cynical...
Published on 23 Sep 2005 by t4mm3r

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the best.
It's back to Midkemia again for the first in a new series from Raymond E Feist. This loosely follows on from his last series, containing many of the same characters. However, Feist almost seems to think he will sell copies without giving his full attention. The plot is very basic and lacks the complexity that is prevalent in most of his other novels. Perhaps this is...
Published on 14 Aug 2006 by Mr. NJC Fee


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master Returns (After an absence of a few yrs), 23 Sep 2005
I looked forward to this book the way I do every September since I discovered Magician. Although I was slightly disappointed with the last Trilogy produced (Conclave series), I now realise that it was a clever way to introduce new characters into the series without disturbing the final plot, which continues with the start of the Darkwar Saga.
From a somewhat cynical point of view, it can be argued that some of the books have been planned to coincide with this series, which by sounds of it will mark the end of the Pug/Nalar affair that has been simmering through the various books since the Riftwar. For example, Price of the Blood can be construed as only being a showcase to introduce Keshian politics and intrigue, where as the entire conclave series can be viewed as setting up the characters involved in said showcase, thus avoiding the need for lengthy segments of characterisation and allowing the author to get straight to the main story.
As always Feist delivers a stunning plot and sequence of events that keep the reader, (well kept me) hooked from the first page, and continues with the stunning characterisation that has become his trademark.
An excellent read, can't wait to see where the series takes us now (looks like its back to Kelewan)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting better after a drop in quality of previous books, 30 Mar 2007
This review is from: Flight of the Night Hawks (Darkwar, Book 1) (Paperback)
Personally I felt the conclave of shadows books that precede this are the wealest of the Midkemia novels. Not that they are bad but merely average, here Feist takes the story he has been building slowly and changes up a gear. It feels more epic, there is a greater sense of urgency and more importantly a ripping yarn.

If you have never read one of Feists books stop reading now and look up magician, this is not the place to start. It is familiar territory, action, intrigue, magic and murder. The usual staples are here as are many familiar faces, while I make this sound like feist by numbers I should say that part of the appeal of reading an ongoing saga is the familiarity with the world and its populas.

If you have read feist before you won't be disappointed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The saga continues, 16 Sep 2005
Although not listed as such, I would consider this book to be the fourth book in the Conclave of Shadows series.
While Feist chooses to introduce yet more people to his series, the former main characters of the other Conclave of Shadows books are also used, but the story appears to be Feist' main goal now, and not the individual characters.
This makes many of them slightly two-dimensional, but more than good enough to fully appreciate the story.
The Talnoy and the Dasati are not forgotten as they battle in the intrigues of Kesh,
and the battle against The Nameless God and his minion Leso Varen continues.
The next installment might very well take us back to Kelewan, not much used since the Empire series.
Feist is still continuing the story that began with Magician, tryining out new techniques, but he is still one of the best fantasy writers out there. This is a must-read for all Feist fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typically Feist, 23 Sep 2005
By 
Although the book is presented as a new start of a triology I would say this is the 4th book in the serie.
Flight of the nighthawks not only brings back the evil assasins guild but a whole range of caracters that we have seen in the various books written by this great writer.
I enjoyed the many flashbacks to long dead caracters such as "Jimmy the Hand" and places like Crydee. It just reminded me on how much I have enjoyed the books.
The story is has a lot of pace which doesnt leave much room to introduce new caracters properly in a sence that I never had the feeling I knew the caracters. Hopefully this will be resolved in the following books as I expect most caracters to be back in full action.
The book takes you deep into Kesh, a hint from Kelewan, more insight in Stardock and if you have finished the book you can expect more to come from Kelewan further in the series.
Not 5 stars this time as I really think the next books have potential for a lot more exiting plots, battle scenes and caracter development.
nevertheless a book that you can start just after diner and finish in the early hours!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional stuff from Feist, 9 Oct 2005
By 
A. S. Garton "age garton" (milton keynes, england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Feist has run hot and cold over the years. His early work was utterly brilliant. Some of the stuff in the middle hit lows of the decidedly mediocre, but since Talon of the Silver Hawk Mister Feist's star has been in the ascendant. What better way to climb right back to the top of the heap than with a brand new series that draws heavily upon the world we all know and love.
Is it a new series? Well, technically yes it is, although it is fair to say that it follows directly on from the King of Foxes. However, the plot of this new book seems to have grown. All of a sudden Feist has developed a new plot for his enormous playground of a world and these two things have taken him back to his brilliance of old. Everyone - and I mean everyone - makes an appearance in this book. Whether you favorite character was Erik Von Darkmoor, Thomas or Pug of Crydee, Tal Hawkins or, well, whoever, you'll come across them here. As if that wasn't enough, you'll be all over the place from Novidus to the Kingdom to Kesh. Better still, there is a strong inference that we'll be spending some more time in the Empire of Tsuranuanni in the next book.
In short, this is a good book that is well worth buying. It's a pleasant reminder that Feist is probably the best creator of Fiction/Fantasy out there.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the best., 14 Aug 2006
By 
Mr. NJC Fee "Nick xxx" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It's back to Midkemia again for the first in a new series from Raymond E Feist. This loosely follows on from his last series, containing many of the same characters. However, Feist almost seems to think he will sell copies without giving his full attention. The plot is very basic and lacks the complexity that is prevalent in most of his other novels. Perhaps this is because so much of Midkemian history and culture has been explored before. Perhaps the sequel will see a return to this depth as the world of the Dasati is explored. We can only hope. To be blunt, a good story, but that is it. If you want an easy read, this is for you. If you want to be challenged I suggest you turn to Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. Also, if you are a collector of Feist novels, this has been published in a different format, with the overall size being very much altered. It just doesn't fit with the rest, which I found quite annoying. A slight blip from a master of his genre. Let's hope for a return to form with his next release.
Nick
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Limp at best, 12 Sep 2006
By 
M. Artley "doctormal" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Flight of the Nighthawks is just not of the same calibre as his previous work. It's easy reading certainly but actual plotlines seem to be have been reprised from previous books and stretched out very thinly. I'm disappointed that Mr Feist thinks his readers will continue to put up with work of this quality. His problem seems to be that he has a three book deal with a one book plot, so we will have this and another book of the same minimalist scale and ambition before we actually get anywhere. Please, no more crawling around in sewers or young striplings coming of age, we've had enough. And Leso Varen, kill him already. He's had more comebacks than the Rolling Stones and he's less entertaining.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another epic commences..., 16 Mar 2006
After bringing us the opening three novels concerning Tal Hawkins and Kaspar, Duke of Olasko, Feist opens his third great Midkemia series, The Darkwar Saga, by expanding on the discovery of the Dasati and their automaton army, the Talnoy. It is the greatest danger to face the conclave since Pug’s involvement in the Serpent War and finds us delving into new dimensions for both Midkemia’s and Kelewan’s newest enemies, as Magnus discovers that the immobile Talnoy are acting as a beacon for the Dasati and rifts are beginning to form between the two worlds.
We commence in bucolic bliss as Caleb, the non-magical son of Miranda and Pug finds himself apprenticing the son and foster-son of Marie, Tad and Zane, two eager lads who have not much to do and an eye for trouble. After they save him from death at the hands of a bandit ambush, we then travel with them as they are turned from soft layabouts into hardened Conclave soldiers and we then learn of a series of murders of Truebloods in the Empire of the Great Kesh. The resulting concern finds Tal and Kaspar and Caleb entering Kesh at different social levels to track down the infamous lair of the Nighthawks, whom they believe responsible for the murders that seek to place Kesh in a state of civil war as the current Emperor nears the end of both his life and reign. In the meantime, Nakor has discovered greater powers are rumbling as he finds the tiniest spark of the Nameless One in the darkly Herculean Bek that promises that there could be a return for Ishar.
Political intrigue, sewer ambushes, tavern brawls and magical intervention that are all the hallmarks of a great Feist effort all follow as the Conclave discover that the inviolable magician, Leso Varen is behind the mayhem that seeks to disrupt Midkemia and move to deal with the threat.
Feist is one the finest fantasy authors produced in the late twentieth century and his works on the worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan remain at the peak of the genre. Characterisation is well drawn, we have an excellent mix of old, familiar and lovable characters with new youthful, impetuous ones that engender empathy. Old traditions hover in the background where needed without overshadowing the new bloods making their literary mark. The plot is crisp, the dialogue exciting and the old thrill of looking forward to a new great Feist series rears it’s head.
Roll on the second...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great trilogy, when put in perspective, 29 Aug 2008
By 
J. Morris (Barcelona, Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flight of the Night Hawks (Darkwar, Book 1) (Paperback)
I have only previously read the Riftwar Saga, so I have no reference for how Feist has written his books since then.

This first book is a little disappointing, however only because its really building the storyline for the more exciting second and third books, which pick up the pace a bit. I agree with other users who put that Midkemia has been explored out, so without spoiling, he gets around this further along in the trilogy.

The character building is another thing that wasnt deep enough, as you are introduced to the cast, given a page or two of history, and off you go. Its almost as if he was in a hurry to finish and you never really get to connect with the characters.

I bought the trilogy together, and ready them all in the same week during my holidays, and regardless of the flaws I have to say it was definitely enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone who likes previous Feist material, or even just a fantasy genre fan. Just dont expect the depth of Magician or anything by Robin Hobb or Geroge R.R. Martin!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feist begins another exciting trilogy..., 9 Feb 2006
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
With Flight of the Nighthawks, Raymond E. Feist begins yet another series of books set in the Midkemia universe. Also yet again, he writes a fairly enjoyable tale with a lot of little problems that bring it down to just an enjoyable read instead of a standout. One of the problems is the same as it always is, and he has corrected most of the other ones, but this time, some sloppy writing kept throwing me out of the book that I happened to be enjoying at the time.
Flight of the Nighthawks is a continuation of Feist’s “Conclave of Shadows” trilogy, but it has its own series name: The Darkwar Saga. I didn’t understand this at the time I read Exile’s Return, but now I do. Feist has changed the focus to make it much broader. The back cover copy emphasizes the two brothers, Zane and Tad, but it truly covers the entire Conclave. While I don’t mind a limited viewpoint, as in the previous series, it was nice to get information from a bunch of sources this time around. We have not only the boys, but Caleb, Pug, Kaspar and Talwin Hawkins, all involved in the plan to bring down the Nighthawks. The variety of viewpoints gives the book more of an epic feel that I really enjoyed.
While once again Feist avoids any potential misogyny charges by not featuring any female characters, the men he does populate the story with are well-drawn and interesting. He gives us some of the boys’ training, but doesn’t concentrate on it as much as he did Tal’s in the previous series, and he intersperses these chapters with events elsewhere in the world, so that the training sequences don’t slow the story down. The wide number of characters also helps in the fact that the boys just weren’t the interesting. They were the only shortfalls in the characterization, though, and they could get better once they are on their own a bit. In Flight of the Nighthawks, it seems that their main purpose is to get in the way and to rescue Caleb a time or two.
I also liked the tension that was in this book. Yes, we all know that the good guys are probably going to win (though maybe not right away, as this is book 1), but Feist gives us the action with the possibility that not everybody’s going to come out alive. Our heroes aren’t perfect, which is also unlike the Conclave books. Talwin is still the best there is in this book, but since he’s not the only character, it’s mitigated. The other characters do make mistakes, and it’s nice to see.
Unfortunately, this brings me to the faults in the book. The writing is kind of simple, very suitable for a young age (though some of the subject matter might not be). This is not a problem. However, sloppiness is, and there is a bit too much of it. First, Pug and his wife Miranda are described twice within the span of ten pages, both their physical appearances and the nature of their relationship. Both times it’s as if Feist was introducing them, not describing them as they currently are because there has been a change. That’s not something I’m used to from Feist.
Secondly, Caleb and Marie have differing memories of how they got together for no particular story purpose (there is no memory manipulation or anything like that). By differing memories, I’m not talking a detail here or there. I’m talking about how they met, when they became lovers, whether Caleb knew of her husband before he died, major things like that. Both instances are when the character in question is musing about his/her situation, so it can’t even be a lie told from one character to another.
Finally, there a bit of internal continuity that Feist gets wrong. At the end of one chapter, Caleb mentions how hard it will be to tell Marie that he’ll be leaving with their two boys *without her* the next morning. Then, the next chapter that features them, he has taken her to the Sorcerer’s Isle and gotten her settled, spending a few days there with her, and *then* he leaves with the two boys. These are all instances easily avoidable, and I’m surprised they’re included here. I do have a review copy of the book, but I have checked it with a published edition and these errors are still there. All of them threw me out of the book when I noticed them, and it took some effort to get back into it.
Writing errors aside, however, Flight of the Nighthawks is a very good continuation of the Midkemia stories, Feist’s bread and butter. It’s exciting and it begs you not to put the book down, but to continue with one more chapter. Storywise, I think it’s stronger than any of the Conclave books. It’s too bad the writing issues make it harder to read. I’m holding out hope that the next book will continue with the strengths and leave the weaknesses behind.
David Roy
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Flight of the Night Hawks (Darkwar, Book 1)
Flight of the Night Hawks (Darkwar, Book 1) by Raymond E. Feist (Paperback - 4 Sep 2006)
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